WordPress is the most popular content management platforms in the world. In fact, nearly one-third of all websites are run on its open-source system, and it occupies 60% of the content management market share. There’s a reason why WordPress is so popular among all types of webmasters, from small business owners to larger corporations. But you’d be surprised to know that many people still don’t get it right.

For example, there are over 5 million WordPress websites that aren’t using an updated version of the platform. Because when it’s easy to use, simple changes can often be overlooked. However, when it comes to managing your site, ignorance isn’t bliss – it’s best to be in the know and understand every aspect of your CMS. Here are three comprehensive tips for ensuring the best WordPress experience:

Managed WordPress Hosting

WordPress isn’t a very complicated platform. In fact, it’s built to be intuitive and user-friendly. And while it certainly is simple to navigate and has a clean interface, it takes time to learn the platform front to back. The more plugins you add, menus you have, and theme customizations available, the more complicated it becomes.

Newbie WordPress users often make the mistake of thinking that, because WordPress is touted as a “simple” system, all they need to do is pick a style, fill in some headings, and you’re good to go. This isn’t the case. If you want a well-designed site (and you need a great design to create a great first impression), you’ll need to either 1) take the time and energy to learn the ins and outs of WordPress or 2) hire a an expert to take care of the gritty details on your behalf.

According to one source, simply reaching “entry level” status on the WordPress frontier can take anywhere between 6-12 months, while becoming an “expert” can take up to two years. One of the best things you can do for option two is to work with a reputable managed WordPress hosting company. These hosting companies handle all things WordPress, and eliminate the hurdles associated with running a successful site on the platform. Managed services come with a slew of benefits, including:

  • Automatic updates, backups, and installs
  • Increased level of security
  • Improved site speed and sensible resource balancing
  • Knowledgeable support technicians

The overall goal shared by managed WordPress hosts to make the WordPress experience as seamless and enjoyable for everyone. Think of it like peeling back each layer of the WordPress onion: there are no surprises or technical issues that the team can’t fix or improve. Consider it a worthwhile investment to engage in a stress-free hosting option that removes any wiggle room for error, and allows you to fully focus on running your business or blog.

Choosing The Right Design

Creating a great first impression is imperative for all webmasters, whether you’re using WordPress, Wix, or Drupal. Why? Because you have mere seconds to capture the attention of your visitor. Today’s Web surfers expect the sites they visit to load quickly (responsive design is a must-have), and will judge a site based on its appearance before they consider the contents of its pages. If it takes too long to load, or isn’t aesthetically pleasing, they’ll move on to your competitors. It’s because of this that web design affects revenue, so it’s especially important to pay attention to it.

Consider hiring a freelancer or paying for a premium theme on a reliable seller site like Themeforest. Unless you’re a designer, it might not be worth it spend all those man-hours on not only learning design techniques, but designing at the same time as learning your way around the WordPress platform.

Choose Your Plugins Wisely

As WordPress once stated, “A WordPress site without plugins is like a toy store with no toys.” There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins currently active, and choosing the right one is something of an art. In just one category, there’s potentially dozens of plugins to choose from, and sometimes a handful of those have great reviews. This doesn’t mean you have to test them all. Start your search by writing down a list of capabilities you expect your plugin to have. As you’re going through your list, make sure your plugins match it exclusively. Don’t be fooled by bells and whistles — that is, plugins that have the features you want, amidst a slew of others.  Don’t burden yourself with features you don’t need – stick to the essentials.

These plugins, developed by users around the world, extend WordPress capabilities. However, there’s a lot of ambiguity over what the volume of plugins can do. The WordPress community, developers, and designers may err on the side of caution, convinced that too many plugins will affect site reliability, speed, and even security. But the truth is, there is no verifiable correlation between the amount of plugins and the aforementioned factors.

The amount of plugins won’t hurt your site – only bad plugins can truly affect website performance. Plenty of articles cover how to achieve plugin-like results without needing to install plugins, but, according to WordPress, inserting new pieces of code on your site iis equivalent to adding a plugin, and both take up the same amount of resources. One method, however, requires technical know-how, and more time.

While the number of good plugins won’t hurt your site, managing them is still important. Why have 100 plugins if you don’t need to? Why have five plugins for what a single plugin can achieve? Remember: each plugin is created by an individual person, and not all developers keep their plugins updated. If you don’t upkeep your plugins, you run the risk of it interfering with new WordPress updates or clashing with other plugins. Every few months, conduct a plugin cleanup, and eliminate what you don’t absolutely require to keep your site running the way way. The conclusion: If you need multiple plugins, go ahead. It’s not about the quantity of plugins, but the quality.

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